The good news for CVS deal-seekers is, soon you won’t have to go every week to take advantage of the latest sales. The bad news is, it’s because every other week will feature all the same sales as the week before.

Over the past week, employees at CVS stores say they have received internal communications announcing that “Biweekly Promo is Coming!” Images shared on Reddit employee message boards show flyers headlined “You asked, we listened,” stating that effective with the weekly ad that starts on December 31st, store circulars and the promotions they feature will run two full weeks instead of one. CVS declined to comment to Coupons in the News, though it did not dispute the authenticity of the flyers, which state that the change is due to take effect in all stores except those in Hawaii and in CVS’s Miami-based Navarro subsidiary.

The shift to every-other-week circulars “creates simplicity by reducing repetitive workload stores are asked to complete,” the employee communications explain, meaning that store employees won’t have to swap out shelf tags as often. The change also “allows more time for customers to benefit from our store promotions.” The only exceptions to the biweekly circulars will be the promotion-heavy holidays of Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Christmas, when “one-week promotional periods will be used” to “drive additional impulse trips and seasonal sales.”

CVS had already joined several other retailers in scaling back the printing and distribution of its weekly ad, directing most shoppers to access a digital version online instead. But shifting to biweekly ads is a rarity among retailers, who tend to prefer regular weekly communications and promotions in order to encourage shoppers to visit the store more frequently.


But the change is in keeping with the drug store chain’s stated desire to make things easier, for stores and shoppers alike. Earlier this year, Chief Customer Officer Michelle Peluso said “simplifying pricing and promotion” was one of the retailer’s goals going forward. CVS has been emphasizing health care and wellness in recent years, and a major annual investors presentation this morning made scant mention of the retail side of the business at all. In her comments earlier this year, Peluso said front-end retail is still important, and doing well, but “we absolutely recognize there is also opportunity to invest in cost structure and productivity improvements.”

Longtime CVS shoppers note that the retailer first tested biweekly ads in some regions several years ago. “They tried a thing here where they only ran one ad every two weeks so the ad was good two weeks,” one commenter wrote on a retailing message board. “So we missed out on half of their promotions. But I could drive 45 minutes just over the state line… and CVS there still ran weekly ads every week, so could get all of the promotions.”

“They tried this years ago and customers complained so much that they put it back to weekly,” a CVS employee wrote on Reddit. “It was the couponers who complained mainly,” another commented. “They didn’t like there not being a fresh batch of offers to take advantage of each week and no new ExtraBucks to claim each week if they’d already got them in the previous week.”

Some CVS shoppers don’t seem to mind this time, though. “I do like the idea of biweekly deals,” one online commenter wrote. “There have been times I missed out on deals because of not having time to get to a store. It’s good that you will have more time to do other important things in your life.” Another said they “don’t mind the change. My store is a bit of a drive so I don’t always get to do the deals during the week.” Still another believed the change would “be a big help for the sales team. More time to do all the other things they need to do.”

So, depending on your perspective, shopping at CVS could become a whole lot easier or much less appealing in the new year, with fewer ads, fewer deals to keep track of, and fewer yellow shelf tags for store employees to swap out every week. “Our resolution for 2024 is fewer yellow tags!” the store flyers read. Time will tell whether shoppers’ resolution for 2024 will end up being fewer trips to CVS.

Image sources: Reddit/Eric_Blanford / Jeepers Media


One Comment

  1. We’ll have to see if they keep the same ideas in terms of coupons.

    For instance, right now they seem to have a deal for Colgate items most weeks, with a digital coupon that is often good only that week.

    The deals are usually limit 2, but most probably only get one since there is only one coupon.

    Thus, if they continue to issue the coupons each week, it would result in the same amount of deals, just get one the first week and the other the second.

    Would also mean customers wind up going in each week anyway, so they don’t lose any visits (with the hope, of course, that people pick up other items that are more profitable while there).

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